150 Years Ago Today, the U.S. Bought Alaska From Russia for $7.2 Million

On March 30, 1867, the United States gave the government of Russia a check for $7.2 million and took possession of 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 square kilometers) of new land which became the Alaska Territory, and later, in 1959, would become America’s 49th state. In the last 150 years, Alaska has seen several gold rushes, an oil boom, a groundbreaking distribution of lands to Native groups, a disastrous oil spill, a tremendous growth in tourism, and much more. As a former Alaskan tour guide, allow me to relive a past job I loved, and share with you some of this amazing history and phenomenal beauty on Alaska’s sesquicentennial—49 photos of the 49th state.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Jassen Todorov

    Winners of the 2018 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

    National Geographic magazine has announced the winning entries in its annual photo competition.

  • Emma McIntyre / Getty for KROQ / Entercom

    Photos of the Week: State Funeral, Mass Marriage, Krampus Parade

    A prison beauty contest in Brazil, a 3-D-printed e-motorcycle in Germany, the state funeral of former President George H. W. Bush, SantaCon in New York City, “yellow vest” protests in Paris, and much more

  • Siese Veenstra / AFP / Getty

    Hopeful Images From 2018

    I’ve made it a tradition to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past year—an effort to seek out and recognize some of the abundant joy and kindness present in the world around us.

  • Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty

    2018 in Photos: Wrapping Up the Year

    Time to take a look back at some of the most memorable events and images of 2018. Among the events covered in this essay, part 3 of 3: midterm congressional elections in the United States, hurricanes and typhoons in Asia and North America, Brazil’s election of the far-right Jair Bolsonaro as its new president, and much more.